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College announces new meal plans; four options available for next year
April 23, 2012
By Julia Cuddahy
Next semester the dining hall will be different once again. This time the changes are mainly concentrated in the meal plans. Instead of the standard three plans, there will be four.
“Plan A: Carte Blanche” is the usual unlimited meal plan that freshman are required to purchase.
This plan includes “unlimited access during the hours of operation at Wertz Dining Hall plus $100 in flex dollars per semester.”
Carte Blanche offers the most food out of the four plans. Since freshmen do not know how much or when they will eat, this is the ideal plan for them, allowing them to understand their own habits and then decide whether they need three meals a day or only two. If the answer is only two, they should consider one of the other three plans.
“Plan B: The 14 Plan” allows for two meals a day at Wertz Dining Hall and $75 in flex dollars per semester. This plan used to be cheaper than the unlimited plan, but according to the latest e-mail this plan is the same price. The 14 Plan offers significantly less food than the unlimited plan, but the flex dollars are still significantly less than Carte Blanche.
“Plan C: The 12 Plan” is good for a person who rarely eats at Wertz Dining Hall on the weekends. As the plan suggests, the 12 plan allows for 12 meals a week and 100 flex dollars.
Although this plan offers two meals less than the 14 plan, it provides the same amount of flex dollars as the unlimited plan. This plan is also not less expensive than the unlimited plan.
Finally the last plan is “Plan D: The Block Plan.” This plan is entirely new and will be implemented for the first time in fall 2012.
The Block Plan offers “any 150 Meals per semester plus $150 in Flex per semester.” The increase in flex dollars will work to the advantage of many people who spend flex dollars rather quickly. The meals themselves, however, are not as much as they seem.
For a person who eats three meals a day, seven days a week throughout the semester, this is exactly 165 meals short of what the average total meals eaten per semester is, that is the 315 meals this person would expect to eat. Even a person who only eats twice a day, seven days a week still eats 210 meals. Therefore, 150 meals is not an extraordinary amount of meals and does not make up for the increase in flex dollars, especially for a person who consistently eats at Wertz Dining Hall for lunch and dinner. The Block Plan is also the same price as Carte Blanche.
Dan Miller, dean of students, sent out an email with a Meal Plan Calculator. This calculator helps determine which meal plan works best for each student. Especially for students contemplating the 14 Plan, 12 Plan, and The Block Plan, the calculator could really help students see exactly which plan meets their needs. For students that wish to change their meal plan, they must submit a form by May 4.
“Students may also make changes to their meal plans during the first two weeks of each semester by completing a Meal Plan Change Form (available on the Residential Life website),” Miller said.
In addition to the implementation of The Block Plan, the Wertz Dining Hall is also changing its hours. Wertz Dining Hall will open at 7:30 a.m. instead of 7 a.m. and will close at 7:30 p.m. instead of 7 p.m.
While this is an improvement for students participating in choir and other extracurricular activities, it puts students taking 7:45 a.m. classes at a disadvantage.
The cafeteria will prepare Breakfast To-Go bags for students who wish to eat before class, and hopefully teachers will be receptive to this change in the cafeteria and allow students to eat during the beginning of class.